When you talk to a radio futurologist, of course, you will ask him what the state of podcasting will be over the next four to five years. And what big things will happen? In the last episode of Audry talks Audio, Niklas talked to James Cridland. Editor of Podnews, a daily podcast newsletter. He is a writer, consultant, and public speaker on radio’s future. These are his thoughts:
“Everybody assumed that radio was going to die, that it’s going to change real quick. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t. And no media changes very quickly because of the way that we consume it. So what big things are going to happen in podcasting over the next four or five years?
I don’t think they’re going to be massive changes. But some of the things that I would suspect that we will see are much more audio fiction. If you look in the Nordic countries in Sweden, for example, the amount of Audio fiction being listened to has more than trebled in the last year. I suspect that we’ll see more of that as larger companies get involved in that particular space. It’s been quite an independent space so far.
I also think that we’ll see differences in the way that podcasts make money. Many podcasts earned money through advertising or sponsorship because that’s been the only way of doing it. There haven’t been robust solutions for earning money out of a subscription model. Patreon exists, of course, but it’s not a mainstream thing.
So I suspect that Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and a similar model from Spotify – if they ever bother to launch to the rest of the world other than the U.S – are going to change the way that our creative work is paid for. It could even mean that many podcast creators no longer have to read out sponsorship credits and pretend to be interested in these. We can focus on producing great content that we know we have an audience for.
So those two are the big creative changes, I guess. Now from a technical perspective, I would also expect two things. First: Apple Podcast will be available on Android phones. I reckon we’ll get this by the end of the year. The other thing is that I suspect that Apple Podcasts’ market share continues to go down, and Spotify and others like Amazon Music begin to do quite well in terms of running platforms. So I think we will be a much more multi-platform media in the next five years. And that’s probably a good thing as lots of people compete for the best podcast player. Cause we need some of that!”